The driver Elisabete Jacinto and the team Bio-Ritmo® rose today to the podium of trucks of the Africa Eco Race 2019 to receive the prize of the first place in the category. It was a historic day for international motorsport because it is the first time a woman wins a long off-road marathon at the wheel of a truck. The German Jutta Kleinshmidt was a pioneer among the cars, winning in 2001 the Paris Dakar at the controls of a Mitsubishi. Now Elisabete Jacinto becomes a precursor among trucks.
The Portuguese trio added to its résumé the 6th podium reached in this great competition, in 10 participations. Elisabete Jacinto had, for several years, the objective of winning the Africa Eco Race since in her career she already had triumphs in important international races such as the Rally of Morocco or the Rally of Tunisia. In 2000, while still competing in motorcycle, she also won the Ladies Cup in the Dakar Cairo rally, a fact that she would repeat in 2001.
Elisabete Jacinto, José Marques and Marco Cochinho performed in an exemplary manner all this rally by maintaining a solid and consistent pace that allowed them to appear in the from the start of the race in the front places. At the entrance of Mauritania, where the greatest difficulties were expected, the Portuguese were in first place and continued there until the end of the race. In this edition of the Africa Race, the Bio-Ritmo® team also achieves its best result ever in the joint classification with the cars, conquering the fifth place overall.
In today’s stage the Portuguese were the 4th fastest truck to fulfill the 22 timed kilometers of the mythical special accomplished on the shores of Lake Rose in Dakar: “when we started the stage we made a good start and we were well classified. But the Ginaf quickly passed us and we finished in fourth in the category. However, as always, it was a very happy stage with everybody celebrating the fact that they arrived at the finish line. We had lots of Portuguese here on arrival who made us an immense party with champagne. We are very happy with what we did in this race. We received a huge and heavy trophy and we are very pride. It’s been 16 years of work to get to this day. All this is the result of a lot of work and dedication and for that the victory tastes even better“, said Elisabete Jacinto at the end of this great adventure.
Thus, ended the 11th edition of the Africa Eco Race with the fantastic stage of consecration to be disputed around the Lake Rose in Dakar. In the category of cars, this Africa Eco Race crowned Jean Pierre Strugo with the first place in the overall standings and in the bikes, Alessandro Botturi was the big winner.